Friday, November 17, 2017

Top done and how I trim the herringbone quilt tops

Another herringbone top done! Yeah! It turned out 42 3/4" x 53 3/4" which is about the size I was aiming for. This size will be just right for baby quilts and so I can use regular width quilting cotton for the backing.

I thought I would show you how I trim the herringbone tops. First I trim off the triangles on one side. I have two cutting mats lined up end to end, I have my 72" metal ruler, and two bricks wrapped in fabric. I lay the quilt out nice and flat and I line the ruler up along the staggered edge. You have to be careful not to stretch the top since your outside edges will be on the bias so easy going on the smoothing!
Here is a close up of how I align the ruler

Now sometimes if the pieces grow a bit in the sewing process so the ruler is not always at the very edge of the triangles you will be cutting off. I recheck to make sure the quilt top is laying flat and if it looks good I just go ahead and cut.

The metal ruler I am using is an 1/8" thick and 2" wide so the rotary cutter glides along for a nice cut. The bricks hold down the ends so the ruler doesn't slide. I also use my left hand to hold the ruler as I cut. I bought the ruler at Home Depot - no I am not sponsored by them. Lowes had a similar ruler but it was made in China and the markings were painted on. The Empire ruler was made in the USA. It cost me less than $15.00 and I use it all the time along with my 60" metal ruler which I bought years and years ago.

I turn the quilt and trim off the other side. You can measure from the cut edge to the edge you are going to cut to make sure the width is consistent.

Now I have a nice pile of triangles to make HSTs!

Next I trim the bottom of the quilt top. I use my metal ruler along with my big 24 1/2" square plastic ruler to try and get the cut as straight as possible. When you only have two points of reference for this cut, lining the square ruler along the side helps a lot!

I turn the quilt top around and cut the top. Here I only have one point of reference so again I use the big square ruler to get a straight cut.

I guess I didn't need to add this piece on! LOL!!!

I will then fold the quilt in half and check to make sure that it is squared up ok. I have been off a bit on one of the other two tops so I just trimmed on a tiny bit to make sure the top was nicely squared up. The bottom line these are just giveaway baby quilts and they don't have to be perfect, but I still want to do a good job on them and not end up with something way out of whack. I hope this helps!

So you know I will be working on finishing this quilt this weekend and probably putting another one up on the design wall. I have a bunch of 4.4" x 16.5" pieces of pink that are leftover so another herringbone top will be made.

Have a great weekend!


Vicki W said...

Isn't it fun to do some fast pronects? It's why I love quilting the veterans quilts. Instant gratification!

Glen QuiltSwissy said...

You know what I did? I sent your post to Carrie and said, want to know what to get me for christmmas? This ruler! LOL

thanks, great post on straightening a quilt. sometimes with larger quilts I stuggle with this, so a long ruler would really help.

swooze said...

Do you staystitch around your tops?

Kaja said...

Ooh, I want a ruler like yours!